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NEWSCAST - Recreational Fisheries News December 2021

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an information bulletin for recreational fishers


December 2021


Major Boost For South Coast Fishing!

The Eurobodalla region is buzzing with excitement with the latest boost for recreational fishers in the form of over 100 tonnes of complex designed artificial reef being strategically placed on the seabed about 3.5km north-east of Moruya Heads.

This is the ninth offshore artificial reef to be installed across NSW over the past decade. These complex super structures have been are being constructed using funds from the NSW Government’s Recreational Fishing Trust, as well as funding from the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.

The reef comprises of two steel tower modules, standing 11.7 metres tall with a footprint of 12.8 x 12.8 metres and built to withstand extreme storm events.

SMC Marine has been responsible for the design, construction and deployment of the reef. The project has supported 30 local jobs and their project team worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to deliver the project.

Popular bait species such as Yellowtail, Slimy Mackerel, Arrow Squid and Southern Calamari commonly take up residence on new artificial reefs within only a few months while other recreational fish species like Kingfish, Snapper and Trevally should become available on the reef soon thereafter.

Click here for more information about Eurobodalla and the other eight artificial reefs in NSW.

This is another great example of your fishing licence fees at work!








Recreational fishing and camping facilities grants now available  

Local Councils across NSW are being invited to apply for $2.1 million in grants under the NSW Recreational Fishing and Camping Facilities Program.

So if you have an idea to improve local fishing and camping facilities in your area, get in touch with your Local Council.

The program is designed to support Local Councils to deliver new or renewed infrastructure directly related to recreational fishing, boating, and camping

Examples of eligible infrastructure projects include:

  • fishing platforms
  • fish cleaning stations
  • boat ramps
  • marine rescue facilities
  • toilet blocks
  • camping facilities
  • other infrastructure directly associated with recreational fishing, boating or camping.

Improving facilities and access to recreational fishing, boating and camping areas will provide locals and visitors alike with better opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors by camping and fishing in our rivers, lakes and around the coast.

Applications for these grants are open now and close at 5pm on 31 January 2022.

For more information, including funding guidelines and application form, see the DPI website

The Recreational Fishing and Camping Facilities Program is funded by the Australian Government and administered by the NSW Government.






FADs season underway! 

DPI has finished installing Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) at 34 locations from Tweed Heads all the way south to Eden in readiness for the upcoming summer fishing season.

FADs are GPS-tracked floating buoys anchored to the ocean floor to attract fast growing pelagic fish species such as Mahi Mahi. The East Australian Current is now pushing tongues of warm blue water down the coastline, which are expected to bring schools of mahi-mahi with them.

We love receiving your photos of fish caught at the FADs! Make sure to keep your camera handy while fishing the FADs this season for a chance to win one of our fantastic FADs shirts. Simply take a snap of you and your catch with the FAD in the background and email us at fisheries.FADs@dpi.nsw.gov.au to go in the monthly draw to win!

The FADs will remain in the water until early winter before being removed for annual maintenance. Recreational fishers are encouraged to check the latest marine weather forecast before heading offshore and can keep up to date on FAD locations and deployments on the FishSmart app or via the NSW DPI website. The FADs Fishing Code of Conduct can also be found online.

The FADs program is another great example of your fishing licence at work!








Latest Swordfish satellite tag has popped off! 

The satellite tag deployed by Al McGlashan on a swordfish off Mallacoota has popped off and transmitted its data to us. The estimated 90 kg fish was tagged in early July by Al and Cooper McGlashan and popped off well offshore of Batemans Bay at the end of September.

The depth data shows that the fish carried out the typical pattern of diving deep during the day (to around 500 - 650m+) and rising near to the surface at night. There looks to have been a minor change to the behaviour around early to mid-September where the daytime dives don’t go as deep as normal (300 – 450m+) before the normal pattern of dives to 500m+ resumed.

The surface water temperature increased (from around 16 degrees C) as the fish moved north from Victorian waters up to NSW waters, with the surface temperature reaching over 20 degrees for a period of over week in early August. The swordfish appears to travel east from its tagging location and then north to a point directly east of southern Sydney before moving west towards the bottom of the continental slope and then tracking back south towards the border with Victoria before moving north east up to the point of pop-off, east and well offshore of the Batemans Bay area.

DPI is undertaking this project in collaboration with the Australian National Sportfishing Association (NSW) and NSW Game Fishing Association with funds supplied by the NSW Recreational Fishing Licence Trust. The data from this project will also be used as part of a larger project being undertaken by Dr Sean Tracey, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), with similar objectives completed in Tasmania and currently underway in Victoria (both supported by funds from FRDC and a Victorian Recreational Fishing Grant).







Game Fish Tagging Program - Reminder to anglers to return tag cards!

With game fishing on the east coast starting to fire up, this is a great time to remind all fishers to return their completed tag cards to their local game fishing club or back to DPI.  Completed tag cards can also be emailed to gamefish.tagging@dpi.nsw.gov.au

We are still awaiting the original release information for many species from past seasons. Please have a look around and send back your completed cards, even if they are several years old as they may still match up with a recaptured fish that is in our database. The data and information on every individual tag card plays an important role in understanding the movement and distribution of game fish and pelagic species.

As a bonus, all tag cards received from now until 22nd January 2022 will go into the draw to win a Game Fish Tagging Program T-shirt!

Also, if you are lucky enough to catch a tagged, be sure to report it online by using our recapture form here.

The Game Fish Tagging Program is a great example of your fishing fees at work!







Khancoban Gets A Trout Top Up! 

About 30,000 rainbow and brown trout fry have recently headed out the door of DPI’s Gaden Trout Hatchery. Collected by the Khancoban branch of the Monaro Acclimatisation Society, these fish were distributed to streams and rivers local to the Khancoban area.

These fry hatched in September and were a healthy 30 mm when released. NSW DPI works closely alongside Trout Acclimatisation Societies to stock local waterways throughout the State.

More info about fish stocking, including an interactive map of fish stocking sites, can be found at https://bit.ly/3EP7ApD.






Loadin' up and Truckin'

The new fish truck at DPI’s Narrandera Fisheries Centre (NFC) headed off on its maiden voyage recently, delivering 60,000 juvenile Murray cod to boost the fishery at Burrinjuck Dam, near Yass in southern NSW. This 4WD vehicle boats four tanks, each of around 1300L capacity, along with a computer-controlled oxygen system to ensure the fish are riding in comfort as well as style!

A shout out to the boys from Narrandera High School's Clontarf Academy who provided the amazing art that adorns the back of the tanks. Keep your eyes peeled for this distinctive fish transport truck as the team from NFC hit the road over the next few months stocking hundreds of thousands of native fish across NSW.

This is another great example of your fishing fees at work!







Book your 2022 Eco Fishing Hut Holiday! 

Great news for NSW recreational fishing licence holders (or those holding a valid exemption), you can now book your next Eco Fishing Hut adventure. 

This is a great chance to book one of the 21 amazing locations in NSW National Parks, ranging from coastal beach stays to rustic huts perched below snow-capped mountains. 

Another good reason to book is you can get a 33% discount across the full range of Eco Fishing Huts, thanks to contributing funding from the Recreational Fishing Trusts.

Make sure you keep an eye on the DPI Fisheries Facebook page for new and exciting fishy getaways being added to the list as they become available.

When you make a booking, make sure to enter the code “ECOHUTS” and include your recreational licence number or your fishing fee exemption details in the comments section.

Click here to find out more.

The Eco Fishing Hut initiative is a great example of your fishing fees at work!







Check out the latest Recreational Fishing Trust Annual Report

The Recreational Fishing Trust Annual Report 2020/21 is now available for recreational fishers to check out the wide range of programs that received funding from fishing licence fees in 2020/21, including fish stocking across NSW dams and rivers.

Check out the report here https://bit.ly/3pBuUAE.






Saving our Shorebirds

Threatened shorebirds are now lining beaches and estuaries along the NSW coast as their nesting season is underway. These birds are at risk and collectively our behaviours on the beach can impact them during this sensitive period.

Some key tips:
• Leash your dog
• Keep to the wet sand – the birds usually nest up in the dry dunes
• Keep a lookout for shorebird signs, especially when pumping for bait such as nippers or squirt worms.

Thanks in advance for your help and support! Tight lines!






Get ready for a Big Fishing Summer!

With restrictions across the state lifted and after substantial rainfall across many areas of the State, it is expected that a large number of fishers will take the water, wet a line and make use of the excellent conditions.

It is important for rec fishers to know and understand the rules before fishing, especially around the requirement to hold a licence, bag and size limits, fishing closures and the location of Marine Park and Marine Reserve sanctuary zones.

Our Fisheries Officers will continue to patrol waterways across the State to enforce these rules and penalise any anglers choosing not to comply. Anglers can face large fines and court action for breaking the rules.

We are expecting to see a large proportion of the community accessing our waterways heading into Christmas and the New year and its very important that anglers continue to respect our aquatic environments and be patient and courteous towards other waterway users.

The rules and regulations can be found on DPI’s website – https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or by downloading the FishSmart app available for free at the app store.

The public is also encouraged to report illegal or suspect illegal fishing activity to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or alternatively you can report it online via the submission form at: https://fal.cn/3gJWh



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